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Friends of Children’s Chance,
For the past few years, we have shared stories with you about the miraculous outcomes experienced by our children who have cancer and of their families. It is always uplifting for us to share stories with you about a child overcoming cancer and beating the odds or of a family emerging stronger from their experience of winning the battle with this devastating illness. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always play out that way for some of our families.
If you watched the University of South Carolina win the 2010 College Baseball World Series, you saw Rob and Risha Teal. The story about their son Bayler was a touching reminder that not all stories have a happy ending. Bayler was an avid Gamecock fan and had been adopted by the 2010 baseball team. His fight to overcome cancer was an inspiration to the entire team. They developed tremendous respect for such a brave, young warrior. Bayler dreamed of seeing the Gamecocks win the World Series but did not live long enough to see it happen. The Teals are but one of the families that have been involved with Children’s Chance.
“Bayler’s journey was a long and difficult one. There were so many ups and downs, twists and turns. Throughout Bayler’s fight with cancer we experienced so many wonderful memories. There are so many wonderful, loving people in the world that do so many amazing things for families that have a child with cancer. Before Bayler was diagnosed we didn’t even know they existed. There was a very special organization called Children’s Chance that demonstrated extraordinary generosity and care during this difficult time. They gave us gas cards to make sure that we could get back and forth to the clinic every day. They gave us gift certificates to different restaurants so that we had food to eat while we were in the hospital. They even paid our power bill when things got really tough and we were in the hospital for 46 consecutive days. I don’t know if we would have survived without these acts of kindness. Children’s Chance also arranged for a professional photographer to shoot a family portrait. This portrait will hang on the wall in our house forever and is something that we will treasure forever. We could have never been able to afford something like that during that time; therefore we would have never had that last family portrait with our dear Bayler. Last but not least is the thing that sticks out in my mind the most about Children’s Chance. Each year they put on a dinner called “An Evening with the GAMECOCKS”. They get all of the USC football players and coaches together with all the pediatric cancer patients and their families for good food, gifts, and fellowship. Since Bayler, and our entire family, are ENORMOUS Gamecock fans this was truly an AWESOME event. Bayler and his brother, Bridges, couldn’t eat the delicious BBQ because they were too excited to be in the same room, talking and hanging out, with Coach Spurrier, Stephen Garcia, and company. It was a night that we will remember forever and one that we can look back on and smile. Thank you so much Children’s Chance. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!”
Whether families have received assistance from our Family Support Program for rent, mortgage or utility costs, our gas, grocery or food cards, or received counseling services to help handle the emotional and financial stress of trying to handle the day to day uncertainty, Children’s Chance has been there, always there to help and support those families who have a child with cancer. Since 1996, Children’s Chance has been the only non profit in South Carolina that has stood alongside families to help with their non-medical needs. Having a child with cancer usually means that one parent must give up their job to become the care giver. The stress experienced by receiving such devastating news coupled with the realization that 100 percent of their financial obligations remain with 50 percent less income, seems almost insurmountable. Thankfully, most of our families make it through intact. Recovery rates continue to improve for the more than 200 South Carolina children that are fighting cancer each day. While the medical advances continue to improve, the non-medical needs continue to be largely overlooked.
We need your support now! The issues Children’s Chance and our families are experiencing during this economic turmoil have put us in a precarious position. We depend on the generosity of our donors to support our efforts to assist our families. Our special events continue to provide us with some support but we have for the first time, a lengthy waiting list of families waiting for help. Our Annual Appeal seeks to raise $300,000 this year to meet the ever increasing needs of our children and families. This amount will allow us to clear our waiting list by providing support to those in need and will help to alleviate much of the financial strain our families are experiencing. Children’s Chance’s support will allow our families to concentrate all of their energies into supporting their child and the rest of their family as they face this difficult struggle.
Please donate whatever you can. Whether you choose one dollar or one thousand dollars, we appreciate any contribution you might be able to make. With the knowledge that more than 83% of the funds received go to providing direct services instead of administrative costs, you can be assured that your contribution is going where you want it to. All of the money raised by Children’s Chance, is directed to South Carolina families.
Simply mail your contribution in the enclosed envelope or feel free to make an online donation. Your contribution is tax deductable. Should you have questions, suggestions or need any additional assistance, please call either Samantha Higgins or me at (803) 254-5996. Thank you in advance for helping us to help those in need.
Tom McGee, Executive Director
PS. Would you please consider telling 3 friends about Children’s Chance? While they may not want to donate, they may be aware of a family who has a child with cancer and needs Children’s Chance.
609 Sims Ave., 2nd Floor ~ Columbia, SC 29205 ~ (803)254-5996 ~ Fax: (803)254-5997 ~ www.childrenschance.org